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Fire Flies

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Title: Fire Flies.

 

Author:  washow

 

Rating:  G

 

Summary:  A light-hearted moment causes Elrond to recall a difficult decision.

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own Lord of the Rings nor am I making any profit from this story.  Any similarities to other fan fiction are purely coincidental.  I tried to remain as true to the books as I could but there may be a few discrepancies.  This is not slash but a tale of friendship and family love.

 

 

 

Fire Flies

 

On a warm and muggy summer evening the elves of Imladris were relaxing in the garden with glasses of wine while a human child ran about trying to catch fire flies.  After many attempts the child finally captured one and brought his prey to his ada, “Ada, look what I caught.”

 

            The lord of Imladris put aside his glass of wine and knelt next to the boy, “That is a beautiful creature Estel but perhaps you should release it.”

 

            “But Ada, if I let it go something may happen to it.”  The five year old whined.

 

            Elrond smiled at his foster son, “Yes, little one that’s true but if you keep it in a jar it won’t be able to experience life to the fullest.  You’ll often find that you want to keep those things which are dearest to you close to you but in doing so you will keep them from becoming what they were meant to be.”

 

            The five year old looked questioningly at his ada for the longest time then innocently asked, “Do you mean I should let it go somewhere other than where I caught it?”

 

            The elf lord smiled at the simple question, “Yes, little one that’s exactly what I mean.”

 

            The little boy nodded than called to his elder brothers, “Dan, Ro ada says I should let it go, will you walk to the stable with me?  That is a whole new area for him to explore and ada says he needs to become something different so maybe he can over there.”  The elven twins shot confused glances at each other than shrugged and went over to their brother.  Soon Elladan had Estel on his shoulders and they were making their way through the dark night to the stable where they would free Estel’s new friend.

 

            As Elrond watch them go an elf materialized at his side, “A heavy lesson for one so young Peredhil” Glorfindel laughed.

 

            Elrond sighed, “Yes, I suppose it was but I saw so many similarities between the bug in a jar and Estel in Imladris that I couldn’t help myself.  I’m afraid I said too much.”

 

            Glorfindel picked up Elrond’s wine glass and after handing it to him led the younger elf to the edge of the garden.  “Perhaps but he didn’t understand it, to him it was just a lot of big words which meant set the bug free.”  The golden-haired elf studied his friend, “You worry for him, don’t you?”

 

            Elrond took a long drink from his glass than nodded, “That I do, he is growing so quickly and too soon I will have to place a great burden on his shoulders.  Once he learns who he truly is he will have to take his place as chieftain of the Dúnedain and face all the dangers which come with that post.”  Elrond said no more but instead gazed out into the dark night with sad eyes.

 

            “Then there will come the day that he will die.”  Elrond just nodded so Glorfindel continued very gently, “You knew that when you took him into your heart.”

 

            Elrond gave his friend a sad smile and began walking the parameter of the garden, “Aye that I did my friend and it is the reason I almost refused his mother’s request.”  Glorfindel shot a questioning look Elrond’s direction so the lord of the valley sat on a bench and motioned his friend to take the seat opposite him,  “It happened shortly after they moved into the valley.”

 

 

Flashback

 

            “Lord Elrond” a feminine voice called from the door.

 

            Elrond looked up and smiled when he saw who was in the door, “Gilraen do come in”

 

            Gilraen crept through the magnificent study toward the lord’s desk, “I knocked but there was no answer I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

 

            Elrond smiled, “No, not at all.  How are you and the child adjusting to life here in Imladris?  Can I do anything to make the transition easier?”

 

            The young woman smiled shyly, “We are adjusting very well thank you.  Aragorn loves it here because there are so many beautiful gardens and I love that I don’t have to worry about protecting him from all the foul creatures of Sauron.  There is one thing I would ask but I beg you not to give me your answer until you’ve had time to think about it.”

 

            Elrond looked at the girl quizzically, “What is it?”

 

            “All the prophecies predict that Aragorn will be the one to bring hope back to the Dúnedain by reuniting the kingdom and claiming the throne of Gondor.  However, as you know he has lost his father so he doesn’t have anyone to teach him how to be a leader.”  The lady of the Dúnedain took a deep breath before continuing; “I was hoping you’d take him as your foster son.”

 

            Elrond was slightly surprised by the request, “Gilraen I . . .”

 

            Gilraen went against etiquette and cut the elf-lord off, “If you please my lord don’t answer now but take the night to consider my request.”  Elrond nodded his agreement and Gilraen silently slipped out of the study leaving the elf alone with his thoughts.  Elrond found he was getting nowhere by sitting in his study so made his way to the gardens.  As he strode through the gardens questions and doubts about raising another child started to plague his mind.  Could he take the child as his own and help Gilraen raise him into the man everyone thought would fix the evils of the world?  After Celebrìan left he almost lost one child to grief and the other two to their hatred, would he have those same issues with this child?    He recalled the hardships he had went through with his own children; the broken bones, the hurt feelings, and all the other childhood sufferings they had endured.  The sufferings of his children had affected him almost as much as they were affected, did he have enough energy and love for Middle Earth to endure the hardships of another child?  Especially this child who would have to walk down so many dark roads before he finally reached the end of his journey at which time he would die.  Oh Elros, why did you have to choice a mortal life and begin this line of men which have such a burden placed upon their shoulders.  Elrond shook his head to clear out the memories of his dead brother and went back to musing about the boy.  Could his heart survive the loss of another loved one?  Elrond still wasn’t finding the answers he sought and so he decided to go look in on the boy.

 

            It had gotten late while the lord was ruminating on the idea of fostering young Aragorn so the valley had long been in their beds when Elrond made his way through the corridors.  When he reached the door of the young mortal he quietly slipped into the room just like he had when his own children were young and he had wanted to watch them sleep.  He was surprised to find the bed empty and was starting to worry about the whereabouts of the young one when he saw the balcony door was open.  Curious about what the boy was doing out of bed at this hour Elrond crossed to the balcony and saw the young boy leaning against the wall while staring at the stars.  Elrond knelt next to the child, “What are you doing out here young one?”

 

            The sudden intrusion made the small boy jump and he looked at the elf next to him with terrified eyes.

 

            Elrond smiled gently, “Do not be afraid young one it is I, lord Elrond.  Do you remember me?”  When the boy nodded Elrond continued, “So why are you out of bed?”

 

            “I was looking at my papa.” The little boy answered with such surety that Elrond worried the trauma of the situation had caused the little one to hallucinate.

 

            “Where do you see your papa?” Elrond asked gently.

 

            “Well I’m not sure which one he is but he is up there in the sky.” The little boy said as he pointed to the stars.

 

            Elrond was genuinely intrigued by now and asked, “How do you know that?”

 

            Little Aragorn turned and looked at the elf-lord next to him, “Papa used to tell me a story about an elf that left his sons behind to do something great for Middle Earth.  He told me that elf was turned into star because he was so brave.  My papa was brave and he did great things for Middle Earth all the time so I’m sure he is up there too.  I think he is that pretty blue one, cause it’s twinkle reminds me of papa’s eyes.  One day I’ll be a star too and we’ll be together forever.”  Than suddenly the boy realized he was speaking to an elf and asked solemnly, “Was the story true, about the elf I mean?  Did he really get to be a star because he did great things?”

 

            Elrond smiled at the boy as tears gathered in his eyes, “Yes, little one that elf did become a star after doing great things.  I knew him, he was my ada.”

 

            Aragorn look confused, “What’s an ada?”

 

            Elrond sat on the ground and pulled the boy into his lap, “Ada is elvish for papa.”

 

            The little boy nodded, “Oh.”  Than suddenly realization set in and Aragorn looked at the elf with wide eyes, “The star is your papa?”

 

            Elrond nodded, “Yes, little one and I miss him very much.”

 

            Aragorn looked at the teary-eyed elf lord a minute then went running into the bedchamber.  Elrond was thoroughly confused about what had just happened and was considering going after the child when Aragorn returned carrying a stuffed toy, “My papa gave this to me a long time ago and said I should hold it when ever I missed him.  Your ada must have forgot to give you one but you can borrow mine.”  Elrond started to refuse but the little boy thrust the toy into his hand, “You need it more than I do right now.”

 

            Elrond accepted the toy and pulled the boy back into his lap, “Now I’d like to give you something you need.”  The little boy just looked at the elf, “How would you like me to be your ada?”  

 

            The little boy squinted his eyes, “Would that mean papa wasn’t my papa anymore?”

 

            Elrond pulled the boy close, “No, your papa will always be your papa and he’ll always be with you in your heart but I could be your ada.  Would you like that?”  The little boy shook his head enthusiastically so the elf lord continued, “Good well if your going to be one of my children you must have an elvish name.  How about we call you Estel?”

 

            The little boy yawned, “Okay”.

 

            Elrond laughed and stood up, “I think it’s time to put Estel to bed, come on ion nín.”

 

End flashback

 

            “I’ve never seen such optimism and selflessness in one so young.  I was drawn to him and took him into my heart despite the fact he will die someday.  I just hope that day is very far away.”

 

            Glorfindel smiled, “I’m glad you’re his ada, it has been good for both of you”.

 

            Elrond returned the smile but his eyes grew distant, “That it has my friend but I’ll need your help letting him go when the time is right.  My heart longs to keep him close to me and to protect him his entire life but deep down I know that he must become a great leader if Middle Earth is to survive the evil of Sauron.”

 

            The golden-haired elf nodded solemnly, “I’ll help you as I always have my friend.”

 

Just than the five year old came running towards the elf-lords with something securely held in his hand, “Ada, ada look what I found.”  He came to a stop in front of his father and opened his hand so the elves could see a small caterpillar.  “Elladan and Elrohir said I can keep him and that he will change into a butterfly one day.”

 

            Elrond scowled at the twins who were just approaching the group than addressed his youngest son, “You may keep him but you must promise to release him when he becomes a butterfly.”

 

            “I will ada, thank you!”  The boy called as he ran to the house with his new treasure.

 

            Glorfindel smirked at his friend, “Lets hope you can do the same”.

           

The End